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After the value of the former matrimonial home the pension provision of one or both spouses may be the largest capital asset of the marriage. Pensions and divorce is a question which has assumed greater and greater importance especially since the Pensions Act 1995 and the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999.
There are three main ways to deal with pension assets on divorce.
Assets are split up often with one spouse retaining the marital home and the other will retain his/her pension benefits. This is a process known as offsetting. This method has been favoured by couples as it achieves a clean break and is a simple solution.
This gives courts power to set aside a portion of the pension owner’s pension rights. The practise known as earmarking allows the ex-spouse to enjoy a portion of their spouse’s pension benefits at the point they are crystallised.
This solutions doesn’t offer a clean break as the owner of the pension decides when benfits are crystallised.
This means simply that the original owner of the pension rights suffers a capital loss of benefits and their former spouse enjoys a positive credit of benefits. The sharing of the pension can be on a equal or unequal basis.
Its important that you seek advice as what your option are depend on your age your circumstances and needs.
We can work you to ensure that your share of the pension is taken in the manner best to suit your needs.
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